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And You Thought the “If You Like Your Plan…” Lie Was Bad

2012: Barack Obama declares: “Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.” He also said.

“I ended the war in Iraq, as I promised. We are transitioning out of Afghanistan. We have gone after the terrorists who actually attacked us 9/11 and decimated al Qaeda.”

“We said that we would go after al Qaeda, and they are on the run and bin Laden is dead.”

“That’s why, working with Joe Biden and our national security team, we’ve been able to decimate al Qaeda.”

“Thanks to sacrifice and service of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, al Qaeda has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead.”

“Today, al Qaeda is on its heels and Osama bin Laden is no more.”

2014: Al Qaeda controls more territory than ever in Middle East.

But, by all means, mainstream media, keep obsessing over that bridge thing.

How Not to Behave at a Funeral

Imagine if you will, George W. Bush, attending a state funeral for a much respected world leader. And, during the funeral procession, he flirts with an attractive blond and takes grinning selfies in full view of the cameras.

Obama_Mandela_Selfie_Moment

And before any of Obama’s Army of Sycophants shrieks “faux outrage,” I’m not actually outraged by him acting like a complete boob at a state funeral. I am somewhat outraged by his eager and ready handshake for a Communist dictator with the blood of thousands on his hands, who keeps millions of his people oppressed and impoverished. Or, maybe that’s not a big deal to the Food Stamp, IRS-Abusing, “I’m really good at killing people” President.

Is Obama dumb, or just his base?

Is President Obama ignorant of how the job market works, or does he cynically exploit the ignorance of his left-wing, “low information” voter base?

If economics has two consistent findings, they are:

  1. Rent control messes up a city’s rental market, driving rents *up* (and rental quality down) over time.
  2. Raising the minimum wage kills low-end jobs, the ones held by young and/or poor people.

You can prove (2) to yourself with a simple thought-experiment. Imagine we raised the federal minimum wage from its present $7.25/hour to, say, $25. Would McDonald’s or any other restaurant, large or small, be able to stay in business?

They might, if they adopt Applebee’s new “Waiter Terminator”.

The E La Carte Presto tablets – powered by Intel – will allow patrons to pay from their seats while also adding food and beverages to their existing orders…

The Presto tablets, which were developed at MIT, have been “ruggedized” to deal with the spills and rowdy children…

DineEquity said it might consider introducing the tablets at its IHOP restaurant chain as well. The company joins many others in the industry that have begun incorporating technology into the customer experience.

When government forces wages up, it forces businesses to kill jobs: either by the business dying, or by its replacing workers with technology (a.k.a. capital). The restaurant industry has technology waiting in the wings.

As if to defy that reality, last week Obama tweeted his base the following total falsehood:

Hence, my question. (more…)

The disaster that is Obamacare (ongoing)

My earlier post may have to become a series. As before, you may know the following already from news or other blogs, but it deserves to be acknowledged here at Gay Patriot.

UPDATES (late morning):

Obama hammered in polls

This is everywhere; may as well be here. Per a CNN poll,

Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively…

…53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy…

Fifty-six percent say he is not a person they admire, and an equal number say he does not agree with them on important issues. Fifty-six percent also say he does not inspire confidence, and 53% don’t view him as a strong and decisive leader. All of those figures are all-time records for Obama in CNN polling.

Ouch. But will voters remember, by the 2014 midterm elections?

Recovery for the One Percent: Record inequality

To “celebrate” Dow 16000 and S&P 1800, both of which the stock market just hit intra-day, I’ve gathered a few links on rising economic inequality in the U.S. A few remarks first, to set context.

As a capitalist, I have no problem with inequality – when it comes about for the right reasons, that is, when sovereign consumers have awarded it by their actions in free markets. The problem is that, under President Obama, we have inequality for the wrong reasons.

Obama puts government in control of more and more of the economy, and he has the Federal Reserve bailing out the biggest players on Wall Street (as well as the government) and goosing the financial markets ever higher. That doesn’t come for free.

Whenever someone is bailed out, somebody else was “bailed in”; somebody else lost wealth (or purchasing power). Obama’s policies stealth-transfer it from the wages, pensions, savings and balance sheets of productive people to those who happen either to (1) receive government spending, or/and (2) own financial assets (stocks, bonds, etc.).

Many of those are productive people; but many are not and, in any event, everyone should have to earn wealth the real way, by pleasing their employer or their customers in the market. None merit bailouts. No one deserves government-orchestrated wealth transfers (stealthy or otherwise). No one.

I want small government, natural rights under Rule of Law, sound money and free markets because they are both moral and populist. They form the only moral social system (the only system that lets people be free and doesn’t steal from them, or enslave them). And, as a consequence of being moral, they form the only practical system where masses of deserving poor and middle-class people can and will get ahead.

The Big Lie of Leftism is that leftism somehow stands for the People, or the little guy. It doesn’t. As we see today with President Obama’s policies, producing a result of record inequality – for all the wrong reasons.

OK, now for some data. First, via Marc Faber and Zero Hedge, here is household net worth by wealth percentile:

household net worth by wealth percentile

You can see that, in the last six years, the share of wealth held by the bottom 75% has plunged from 12.7% to barely 10%. (more…)

Leftie psychology update

Enough lefties understand that President Obama is drowning in scandals of his own creation that comedy shows can begin to talk about it:

But other lefties remain mired in denial:

Oprah…[said] “There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it.”

Oprah ignores the fact that Americans elected Obama twice; the fact that everybody on the Left has been ‘saying it’ for years; and the fact that Democrats, to this day, show the greatest of disrespect to President Bush. Never mind the question of whether Obama has been dragging down the office with his unpresidential behavior.

Via HotAir.

The disaster that is Obamacare

You could get all this like I did, by a quick scan of the HotAir headlines. But then you wouldn’t have a convenient discussion thread for it, on your favorite gay blog ;-)

That last link shows you this creepy pro-Obamacare ad:

Obamacare 'stupid slut' ad

Why creepy? Look – Birth control is cheap (quite a bit cheaper than Obamacare). The ad shows a young lady who believes that it’s hers only because she over-pays for her Obamacare insurance. That suggests she’s dumb. The ad also shows her gloating about having sex with a random guy. That suggests she’s a slut (as is the guy; my use of the word is gender-neutral). And so we arrive at Obamacare’s ideal demographic: Stupid sluts who think it’s “hot” to have a life of needless dependency on Big Government. That should tell you something about Obamacare.

UPDATE: Ron Fournier’s irony is note-perfect: “…We Lied to Obama. We told him he could be popular. What we meant to say was he could be popular … if he told the truth.”

Recovery for the One Percent (take 3)

I got onto this idea last May; for take one click here, and for take two click here. My key notion:

Even as I read about the stock market making new highs, I keep reading about more Americans on food stamps than ever before, more Americans quitting the workforce, old people who can’t get a decent income…business people who can’t start businesses…This is in Obama’s fifth year. Whom is Obama’s economic recovery for?…

Obama’s policies benefit the Big Government – Big Banking – Big Labor elites – in that order of seniority…[so] Why aren’t we all laughing in Obama supporters’ faces, when they pretend to stand for the People?…

Part of President Obama’s toolkit to benefit the One Percent is the Federal Reserve’s ‘Quantitative Easing’ policy, which I have explained (and slagged) many times; for example, here and here.

Nothing has changed since May. Now a former Federal Reserve official, Andrew Huszar, explains – and apologizes:

Confessions of a Quantitative Easer

I can only say: I’m sorry, America…I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.

As I’ve been saying for years! Except that, even more than a Wall Street bailout, QE is also a Big Government bailout. Whether the Fed buys Wall Street’s mortgage bonds, U.S. Treasury bonds, or anything else, the new money sooner or later funds the government’s spending and deficits, including Obama’s $6 trillion (and rising) of additional U.S. debt.

Although Huszar’s piece neglects the Big Government angle (focusing almost exclusively on the Wall Street angle), it gives some interesting color and is worth reading in full.

UPDATE: If you prefer wonky video, CNBC interviews Huszar here.

Why the Obamacare Website Woes Are Significant

Glenn Reynolds explains:

A government that can’t build a health care website isn’t likely to be very good at running health care for 330 million people. But the technocrats aren’t so concerned with being good as with being in charge.

Emphasis added.   (Read the whole thing as the blogmeister excerpts Daniel Greenfield’s wonderful reflections on the magic powers of government.)

RELATED:  Michael Barone asks us to

. . . check out this story from Britain’s Independent. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service is going to abandon a $17 billion information technology system that was being rolled in over a 10-year period.

The Independent account suggests that big universal governent IT systems just can’t be made to work.

UPDATE (from Jeff): Is cronyism involved? Meet Anthony Welters. He and his wife have been top Obama donors/”bundlers”, and White House visitors. His company owns QSSI who got a lot of money for the broken Obamacare website…including millions more right now, to fix it.

In the first 24 hours: Six enrollments

I haven’t had time to blog lately (and guess the others haven’t either), but this can’t pass without comment: As reported by the intrepid Sharyl Atkisson of CBS, in its first 24 hours, Obamacare had 4.7 million unique visitors and…six enrollments.

Within a few more days, they had…a few hundred enrollments. That’s why they haven’t been telling us the enrollment numbers. They need 7 million by March 1 (for some reason), and aren’t going to come close.

UPDATE: More complaints about Obamacare’s high cost, along the lines of “Most…are happy that millions of previously uninsured people will receive free or heavily subsidized insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We just didn’t realize that…we’d be the ones paying for it.

Evidently, tens of millions of young people have been so mis-educated that they thought Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy would be paying for it. Or perhaps the Federal Reserve?

UPDATE: For South Park fans.

UPDATES:

UPDATE: Democrats, you will recall, created and passed Obamacare in a hideously divisive and arrogant fashion: shutting the GOP out of the legislative process; ridiculing critics’ predictions (that are now all coming true); implying that political opponents are racists, terrorists, etc.; railroading Obamacare through Congress on a mix of party-line votes, lies, and legislative twists that were even more constitutionally suspect than usual; and generally misbehaving in a manner to all-but-ensure a bad program with years of continuing opposition.

Via Ace, now Politico brings us the new lefty meme: that the opposition to Obamacare, which would be considered normal for American democracy in any other political era, is a GOP “conspiracy” that has “sabotaged” Obamacare. Welcome to the Brave New World.

Will Secretary Sebelius face any consequences as she takes responsibility for Obamacare debacle?

When, just over a year ago, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took responsible for the Benghazi debacle, she suffered no consequences, even as the media claimed the former First Lady had fallen on her sword.

Now another member of President Obama’s cabinet has changed her tune and taken responsibility for the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, asking that Congress hold her “accountable” as she is “responsible.”  And what exactly does that mean to hold her responsible?  Mrs. Clinton kept her job after verbally taking responsibility.  Looks like Mrs. Sebelius will keep hers as well.

Guess maybe she’s going to go to the White House where the president will dispense fifty lashes with a wet noodle.

RELATED: Why Obama Won’t Fire Sebelius

UPDATE:  Jennifer Rubin writes:

Sebelius claimed she was “accountable,” but this means little. She isn’t resigning. She still insists contractors were at fault. It’s a kind of no-consequences accountability, I suppose.

Read the whole thing.

Why won’t Mrs. Sebelius follow the example of the man who tapped her to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services?

Gee whiz, Kathleen, didn’t you hear what President Obama said to Jay Leno in March 2009?  Here’s a reminder for those who don’t read this blog that often:

And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. And I think Geithner is doing an outstanding job. I think that we have a big mess on our hands. It’s not going to be solved immediately, but it is going to get solved. And the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.

But, alas, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is passing the blame onto someone else.  In her testimony tomorrow before the House of Representatives, she intends to “blame contractors, not HHS, for Healthcare.gov problems in House testimony“:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will tell a House committee tomorrow the site’s botched rollout was the result of contractors failing to live up to expectations – not bad management at HHS, as the contractors suggested.

Wouldn’t a good executive have recognized well before the rollout date that the contractors were derelict in their duties?

UPDATE (from Jeff): Today Sebelius is doing the opposite and apologizing. Someone must have explained to her, finally, that it’s part of her job to publicly fall on her sword for her boss.

Didn’t House Republicans attach this to a “Continuing Resolution”?
(And didn’t Democrats find it unacceptable?)

Just caught this on Yahoo!:

The Obama administration may give Americans extra time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, postponing when penalties for failing to buy coverage will go into effect, MarketWatch has learned.

The health care law requires most people to have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, but allows for “short coverage gaps” of up to three months before imposing the penalty, which is $95 or 1% of an individual’s income (whichever is greater) next year. That means someone must be covered by March 31, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed, which is the final day that people will be able to purchase health insurance on the public exchanges, or marketplaces, created by the ACA.

Recovery update

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 5:17 pm - October 22, 2013.
Filed under: Economy,Obama Incompetence,Unemployment crisis

From Zero Hedge, an update of that chart that shows where the White House originally said unemployment would be, under President Obama’s brilliant policies:

Unemployment, with and without the 2009 stimulus plan

And remember, to call unemployment 7.2% is to be very generous to Obama; it forgets the millions who have departed from the labor force in despair, on his watch.

Using labor force participation rates from when Obama took office, current unemployment would be somewhere above 11%.

UPDATE (from Dan): As CNN reports, the “labor force participation rate — the percentage of people over 16 who either have a job or are actively searching for one — fell to 63.2% in August. The last time it was that low was in August of 1978.”

Must be that smart diplomacy about which we’ve heard tell

Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 9.42.39 AM

The article, Saudi spy chief says Riyadh to ‘shift away from U.S.’ over Syria, Iran

To be sure, the Saudis have their own problems, but if our diplomats were a bit more, shall we say, deft in the dealings with our allies, we might have been able to avoid this.

UPDATE (from Jeff): Lots of irony here. First, the article sort-of-implies that Saudi Arabia was behind Kerry and Obama’s sudden, urgent push in August for a Syria war. (Once again, the Left *is* what it accuses the Right of.) Second, if the Saudis are shifting ‘away from’ U.S. protection, the article ought to state whose protection they are shifting ‘to’. I’ll say it: either Russia or China. Which is not good. Apart from the implied failure of the U.S. to contain Iran, it brings us a step closer to the world’s eventual rejection of the U.S. dollar as the basis of international trade. Whether through policies of insane spending/deficit/debt at home, or flailing incompetence abroad (no grand scheme), Obama is getting the U.S.’ world position to unravel. “Thanks, Obama!”

The Dawn Davenport Presidency

By way of Michelle Malkin’s excellent website Twitchy, I’ve learned of two great hashtag nicknames for Obama and his administration in the past few days: #PresidentStompyFoot and #SpiteHouse.  As appropriate and amusing as those are, in thinking about his behavior, I’ve come up with another one lately which I like to imagine is just as good: President Cha-Cha Heels.

The reference, for those who don’t recognize it, is to Dawn Davenport, the spoiled teenager in John Waters’ 1974 film Female Trouble.  Although the film is one of Waters’ earlier efforts and is therefore full of the sort of rude, crude, and just plain gross humor and incidents which assured it an NC-17 rating, in some respects it is a useful parable about the evils of modern liberalism.

Here’s a brief synopsis: Dawn Davenport wants nothing more than a pair of “cha-cha heels” for Christmas, but when her parents refuse to get her any on the grounds that “nice girls don’t wear cha-cha heels,” she throws her mother into the Christmas tree, runs away from home, gets pregnant, and eventually becomes a criminal before being discovered by Donald and Donna Dasher, a couple who loves to photograph women committing crimes.  They make her famous, and she becomes even more notorious as a result.  The Dashers are the sort of liberals who embrace transgression as art and dysfunction as beauty, until Dawn goes berserk and then they try to pretend that they had nothing to do with it.

So what does this have to do with Obama?  Well, our petulant President seems rather like Dawn Davenport throwing a tantrum because he didn’t get any cha-cha heels to wear with his Mom jeans.

As Thomas Sowell wrote in an excellent article that appeared last Friday: “You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.”

In any case, Obama doesn’t care.  He didn’t get his cha-cha heels, and so he’s determined to “walk all over you,” in the words of this catchy tune inspired by the story of Dawn Davenport and performed by Eartha Kitt and Bronski Beat:

YouTube Preview Image

Unfortunately, like the Dashers, his enablers in the press and the liberals who voted for him are rallying around him as though there’s nothing offensive, disturbing, or troubling about his dishonest and spiteful behavior.

 

Evidence that Obama did not succeed in changing Washington

Barack Obama, March 2009:

And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. And I think Geithner is doing an outstanding job. I think that we have a big mess on our hands. It’s not going to be solved immediately, but it is going to get solved. And the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.

Barack Obama, October 2013:

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 10.12.25 AM

SOMEWHAT RELATED: Michael Barone is also pointing the finger: Blame James Madison for the government shutdown. Well, I guess that gets Obama off the hook.

Government by spite

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 2:13 am - October 3, 2013.
Filed under: Government Shutdown,Obama Arrogance,Obama Incompetence

A quick roundup of some items on the government shutdown (gleaned from Ace, HotAir, ZH, etc.).

Are these the actions of a constructive presidency, or one filled with spite?

I think they fit with the Obama administration’s hostage-taking over the ‘sequester’ budget cuts earlier this year. For example, they refused to restore White House tours for school kids, even after alternate (private) funding was found for the tours.

One good note: 91% of the IRS has been furloughed.

BONUS: A history of government shutdowns. Here’s the short version: There have been many…as in, many shutdowns organized/led by the Democrats. So the present shutdown is nothing new, nothing disastrous, and nothing that Democrats themselves haven’t done whenever they felt like it.

Putin v. Obama: the old gray lady edition

On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin published his op-ed piece in The New York Times urging “caution from Russia” with respect to U.S. policy in Syria.  The piece is worth reading if you haven’t already, and it is an impressive piece of political theatre.  Although the left is up-in-arms over what they are calling Putin’s hypocrisy, that is completely beside the point.  Few with any wits about them should consider Putin to be anything but a power-hungry Machiavellian, though that is also what makes this performance so noteworthy.  The Op-ed piece is a complete and utter smackdown of Obama and Obama’s failed foreign policy in a very public sphere, and that is what has the political establishment in Washington, DC so hopping mad about it.   Bob Menendez (D-NJ), John McCain and John Boehner were all quoted expressing their displeasure in an article that appeared on Yahoo yesterday.  One wonders which heavy weights will express their dismay next: Harry Reid, perhaps, or Nancy Pelosi, or maybe even Lindsay Graham.  I’m sure Putin is feeling very afraid.

If you haven’t yet read the Putin piece, I urge you to do so, simply to observe the way Putin cleverly throws Obama’s and the left’s rhetoric back at them and calls them dangerous hypocrites and warmongers.  I’d quote the whole thing, but for the purpose of illustrating my point, the last paragraph will more than suffice.  Putin writes:

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Some conservatives I know are angry with thuggish Putin for saying that America is not exceptional.  But that is beside the point.  In fact, that completely misses the point.

Putin is simply echoing a point Obama made at a NATO meeting back in April 2009:

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.

Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we’ve got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we’re not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.

As Jim Yardley observes in the article from which I have culled the Obama passage above: “These words of the President are fairly typical of what has passed as thoughtful analysis from the current occupant of the White House.  They are words that would be right at home in the faculty lounge in Chicago or Cambridge, Massachusetts.”  So to return to our present context: Putin has cleverly turned Obama’s words against him for all to see, and in the context of the situation with Syria, he has revealed Obama to be an arrogant, narcissistic, posturing fraud.

Yesterday when I was in the car, I heard a very insightful interview about the Putin op-ed on the Tom Sullivan radio show.  I didn’t recognize the speaker’s voice, but I was impressed with all he had to say about how Putin’s strategy in Syria was all about making Russia and not the United States the dominant power in the Middle East.  He talked about the Reagan years and the fact that, aside from the arms buildup, one way Reagan was able to win the cold war was by keeping oil prices low.   He pointed out that to keep the Russian economy afloat, Putin has an interest in keeping oil prices high.  Likewise, for the sake of energy, Putin has an interesting in forming strong allegiances with as many Middle-Eastern oil producing states as it can.

It turned out the speaker being interviewed was none other than Col. Oliver North.  He called the Putin op-ed piece “brilliant” and said that with that clever op-ed piece, Putin had effectively changed the dynamics in the Middle East by very publicly embarrassing Obama in a way that let the nations of the Middle East see that Obama is weak, vain, and unreliable as a potential ally.  I haven’t been able to embed either the video or the audio here, but if you care to know more about what the future of the Middle East may look like as a result of Obama’s failed policies and posturing, you really owe it to yourself to listen to the whole interview.